By Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, Youth Advocate for MY World 2015
The Red Elephant Foundation (REF) is an initiative built on the groundings of story-telling, civilian peace-building and activism for gender sensitivity. We recognize the many different challenges women and girls continue to face in today’s world.
As such, we look forward to strengthen our actions in favor of gender equality within the international community. To do so, we have become official partners of the MY World Global Survey on the Post-2015 Development Agenda aiming to position gender equality as one of the top priorities of international development.
We believe global civil society plays a very important role in the construction and follow-up mechanisms of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Through MY World, which represents a fundamental tool to share some of our needs and interests as global citizens, we can have a real impact towards the adoption of new global development policies and actions led by the United Nations.
We are a committed group of over 70 volunteers of all ages living in 30 countries. We specifically work on the promotion of online and offline voting in the MY World Global Survey and we have developed different strategies and activities aiming to reach the most vulnerable and isolated communities.
Our strategy is simple: we create awareness on post-2015 processes among our volunteers and staff, which is expected to gather over 200 votes. We request them to do the same with their family members, colleagues and friends. Once they have completed this step, we ask them to engage in offline voting among civilians of their respective countries, especially in communities where there is limited Internet access. We particularly care about the participation of children and elders.
“Darnos cuenta que nuestra comunidad no estaba relacionada con los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio, su impacto a nivel global y la creación de la Agenda para el Desarrollo post-2015, nos motivó a generar un cambio a través del emprendedurismo social”, cuenta Rosario Díaz Garavito, fundadora del movimiento en redes sociales The Millennials Movement.
Y es que hoy en día el equipo de voluntarios de TMM viene trabajando desde el mes de abril del año 2014, en incluir a su comunidad en uno de los procesos consultivos más inclusivos de la Organización de Naciones Unidas, dando el salto de una plataforma virtual a la vida real, en donde alrededor de 5 mil peruanos fueron capacitados e hicieron oír voz. En la región de Arequipa al sur de Perú, el equipo de voluntario de TMM realiza capacitaciones sobre la importancia del cumplimiento de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio y la creación de la nueva Agenda Para el Desarrollo a niños, jóvenes y adultos, facilitando su participación en este proceso.
Visitando escuelas públicas y privadas, universidades, Instituciones gubernamentales y no gubernamentales y diferentes organizaciones, el equipo de voluntarios de TMM busca generar un impacto en la comunidad, mediante su participación en la encuesta My World 2015 haciendo uso de la plataforma virtual y balotas físicas en zonas que no cuentan con computadores y /o conexión a internet, contribuyendo con el desarrollo integro de esta, enfocándose principalmente en jóvenes y niños, y generando así el dialogo entre diferentes grupos sociales que día a día se van sumando a esta iniciativa.
A la fecha se han generado alianzas con diferentes instituciones, las mismas que colaboran con promover la encuesta, rompiendo las barreras del desconocimiento y la burocracia, es así que la Red Arequipa Voluntaria, la Municipalidad Provincial de Arequipa, la Beneficencia Pública de Arequipa y el Ministerio de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social, junto al aliado The Millennials Movement forman parte del equipo impulsor de My World 2015 en Arequipa y vienen sumando esfuerzos con otras organizaciones como el Club de Leones, la Marina de Guerra del Perú entre otros, a fin de contribuir con el desarrollo de nuestra comunidad y de todos sus miembros.
“Es necesario empoderar a nuestra comunidad para lograr un cambio significativo, un cambio que permita que muchas más personas puedan vivir en condiciones adecuadas, que aseguren su desarrollo integro y el de las próximas generaciones, es por eso que estamos comprometidos con generar un impacto positivo en nuestra comunidad”. Agregó Rosario, con la alegría de ser parte de una nueva generación de jóvenes que buscan un mundo mejor para la comunidad global.
Hasta ahora, 69% de los votantes tienen menos que 15 años de edad. 28% tienen entre 16-30 años de edad.
The Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández has launched an initiative to collect 50,000 votes for MY World. She called upon her citizens to join her in voting in what she considers is a transformative human development initiative for the country and the world.
“Today I want to make the promise with the UN Dominican Republic that we will collect 50,000 votes at a national level. In order to do so, we are putting are making all of the computers in all of the Techonological Community Centers available to the UN, so that people can vote” she added. There will be 94 Techonological Community Center and 4 Centers for Community Solidarity (Prosoli) available for the general public to vote so that they can establish the country’s priorities in the elaboration of the United Nations Development Group’s Post-2015 Agenda.
The Vice President considered that the agenda should have as a goal a more equitable world, where prosperity is shared and we leave behind human catastrophies that violate the fundamental rights of millions of people in the whole planet.
She also manifested that poverty, hunger, malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality, environmental destrucion and the systematic violation of women’s rights are realities that weigh heavily over the Post-2015 agenda.
She indicated that the new challenges are digital gaps, the productive use of technology, food security, access to clean water, the development of ethical science, and the strengthening of world peace amongst other themes, which should weigh over this new agenda.
La Ciudad de México asume el reto internacional de aplicar un millón de encuestas con el formato My World, desarrollado por la Organización de Naciones Unidas para conocer la opinión de las personas en relación a su calidad de vida y cómo mejorarla, informó el Jefe de Gobierno del Distrito Federal, Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, al poner en marcha la consulta que realizarán más de 3 mil jóvenes del Instituto de la Juventud (Injuve DF) en la capital del país.
Acompañado del abogado defensor de los derechos humanos y asesor de ONU Hábitat y de la Campaña del Milenio, Ravi Karkara, el Ejecutivo local enfatizó que las juventudes capitalinas son un motor de cambio, que en esta ocasión incidirán en el plano global al recabar las encuestas en tres meses –junio, julio y agosto- mientras que a países enteros les tomó años el mismo ejercicio.
Indicó que para apoyar el entusiasmo, el compromiso y aspiraciones de los capitalinos entre 14 y 29 años, el Gobierno de la Ciudad de México desarrolló la Ley de la Juventudes, que otorga certeza jurídica a los derechos conquistados para este sector de la población.
OAJNU in Salta, Argentina (The Argentine Youth Organization for the United Nations) has been working to mobilize students to have their say in MY World. Here is a message from one of the dedicated student leaders from Santa Teresa School:
Hi! My name is Lucas Cuello, I am 17 years old and the leader of “Changers,” a MY World student group in Salta, Argentina. We are a group of students in the last high school years who are working to collect 7,500 MY World votes in our community before September 1st. We have already raised around 300 votes.
The My World campaign is very important for us because with it, we can change the world and bring more people of our city together to do the same. Personally, projects like this show that we, the young people, can work to create a better and fairer world for everyone, because we are not only the future, we are the right now. Continue reading “Students have their say in Salta, Argentina”
UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi praises UN Volunteers in Ecuador‘s mobilization and support to youth participation in the definition of the post2015 agenda through the MY World survey.
UN Volunteers rolled out the MY World survey at the 2014 Regional Forum for Latina America and Caribbean (Foro Regional de Juventudes LAC 2014) in Quito, where UN agencies, intergovernmental organization, youth networks and the Government of Ecuador elaborated a regional perspective along with priority and recommendations for the post-2015 agenda.
Yesterday, we spent a great day in Cachi, Argentina with OAJNU Salta (The Argentine Youth Organization for the United Nations).
It was inspiring hearing the voices of 300 students. We met the governor, we were on their local radio program, and they had commercials about MY World on the radio as we drove in. They organized a large party to collect votes in the town square.
Thank you so much OAJNU Salta for your incredible support!
I’ve always believed that whatever we fall in love with as children never really leaves us, but that it merely gets buried by distractions and obstacles we create when we become adults. That being said, growing up doesn’t need to be quite so tragic. When we’re remarkably clear about our convictions, the people who enter our lives and the circumstances we face move in the direction of our dreams with us. This isn’t a New Age ideal. This is what happens when someone has unwavering vision.
When Saige Martin was 12 years old, he told people he wanted to end poverty when he grew up. Filled with vision and determination, he mapped out his world travels and wrote down the kinds of campaigns he’d build and execute. 11 years later, Saige’s professional and personal dreams are unfolding in front of the world. On April 1, he and fellow United Nations Millennium Campaign Chief Storyteller and Campaign Consultant, William Moore, set out on the first leg of the MY World Global Tour, initiated for the purpose of collecting and amplifying insights from everyday citizens on the ground about the changes they think need to take place to transform their communities for the better. Traveling to 12-15 different countries from now until the end of August, Saige and William will be capturing data and personal stories of the people they meet in villages, classrooms, hospitals, and refugee camps, and sharing these human faces with the United Nations and its leaders.
While the MY World Tour is brand new, the MY World initiative itself has been in effect for more than a year. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched MY World in 2013 as a global survey to inform the decision-making process on the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda. To date, more than 1.5 million citizen insights from 194 countries have been gathered. As part of the new goal to reach 10 million MY World participants, Saige and William are setting out to garner 1 million additional votes, while supporting the UN’s nonprofit partners in cultivating engagement around the post-2015 anti-poverty debate.
So how are they going to do this?
“A major component of the Global Tour is the recruitment of young people as MY World voters and Youth Advocates,” shared William. “Of the 1.6 million votes we’ve collected thus far, 67 percent of those votes have come from people under the age of 30 years old. On each tour stop we will partner with public and private universities, high schools and primary schools in order to expand our MY Campus program, which engages and empowers young people to be change agents in their communities.”
Currently in their first country of the tour, Mexico, William and Saige are already seeing the collective power of the youth.
While working with the UN partner AXIOS, the duo visited two schools, where the students pledged 20,000 votes in the MY World survey. Mexico’s votes now stand at approximately 36,000. They received such a positive response in the region that a contest arose between the schools in the two neighboring towns of San Miguel el Alto and San Juan de los Lagos.
“Long story short, the two schools are now in fierce competition on behalf of MY World,” said Saige. “Motivated by the prospect of becoming MY World Youth Ambassadors, the student leaders are working on bringing in a certain number of votes. Having heard that the San Miguel students had pledged 10,000 votes as their minimum to become Youth Ambassadors, the San Juan student council announced that they could easily bring in 15,000 from their town. We set the bar at 10k for each school and have left AXIOS to coordinate the competition.”
Saige said the San Miguel school is planning to hold a press conference with the mayor in order to get out the vote.
“For both groups it seemed to be an issue of making sure their town’s voice is brought to the table for post-2015, as well as defending communal pride. The deadline to reach 10,000 votes is August 15th.”
On the data front of MY World, information on the priorities of key demographics is viewable at data.myworld2015.org, where visitors can explore voting results by age, gender, income, education, country and region. The MY World staff recently sent out the first wave of “country reports” to the Permanent Missions of over 60 member-states. These reports provide leaders with a bespoke snapshot and in-depth analysis of MY World results in their country.
As for the MY World Tour storytelling component, William and Saige are going grassroots style.
“Our motto going into this trip has become “Have camera, will travel!” shared William. “We have two DSLR cameras, two flip cams, and three MY World tablets that will serve as virtual voting booths whilst we collect votes and conduct citizen interviews on street corners and in other public spaces. Tour followers can anticipate a short video and a series of photo-narratives from each and every country stop on our tour. This content will ultimately be adapted into a public exhibition at the UN when we return to New York City in September.”
Congratulations to William, Saige, and the entire United Nations Millennium Campaign team on embarking on what is sure to be a humanizing and eye-opening journey for the UN and citizens across the globe.
The Toolbox will be sharing updates on the MY World Global Tour on a regular basis. If you’d like to follow the tour via social media, check out the team’s Facebook page, and the MY World blog.
A group of young Ecuadorians, from the Virgilio Guerrero Center in Quito, have created a song that talks about their priorities for a better world titled as “The World we Want”. It is written by two local musicians named Frack MC and MC Chris. Recognizing the great potential of this song, UNDP offices in Quito had the idea to make a video featuring not only the two musicians who wrote the song but also the group of young people from this Center who had previously participated in the National Post-2015 Consultations.
During the month of October children without parental care from SOS Children’s Villages in Uruguay have being answering the MY World Survey. Capacity buildings sessions and awareness activities were carried out in three different cities (Montevideo, Salto, Florida), to engage and sensitize children on post 2015 related issues. Thanks to the Plan Ceibal, a government initiative for which all children enrolled in public schools own a laptop, children were able to participate directly from their personal laptop and eventually promote the initiative through social networks. This very enriching and revealing experience was documented in a short video were children express clearly and simply their priorities for the world they want. Above all, children call for free and quality education, a world with no violence and where people have good and safe jobs.